Stay Warm and Go Buy A Long, Oversized Cardigan

You need an oversized cardi in your life. You really do. What’s a cardi? Well, that’s short for cardigan. The thing you need in you’re closet right now. And, I’m not talking about those short, cutesy cashmere sweaters that your grandmother bought you. I’m talking the extra long, swaying around your legs, maybe fitted or oversized sweaters you’ve seen you’re favorite editors or style bloggers wearing around. This staple piece is perfect for any occasion!

I really don’t know what I’d do without my long cardigan sweaters. They’re great layering pieces for any season. From spring to fall, you can use them whenever the weather or outfit calls for one. You get both form and function out of these sweaters. You’re not suffering trying to look cute in a cardigan, you’re warm and comfortable in a fabulous outfit. And, when the wind blows and catches the ends of it just right you better get your camera ready for a photo shoot right then and there. It’s best to have a friend around who understands you’re level of Instagram crazy, so they know how important it is to get that perfect shot to your followers.

Here’s a few different examples to help you with your styling or Pinterest board needs. Go out and buy the perfect long, oversized cadigan for 2017. You’ll thank me later.

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From UrbanBushBabes.com

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Photo By Victoria Adamson

 

 

Just Me and My Camera

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Out of all the photos Tatianna took from this shoot I like these the best. We went to at least 4 or 5 different murals around Chicago between Harrison and Roosevelt. Just snapping pictures of each other on our phones and chatting about this and that. Lovely way to start the summer.

Dress: Kohl’s
Shoes: Gap Outlet
Sunglasses: Zara
Necklace: Urban Outfitters

Prints, Prints, and More Prints

I adore vibrant and eye catching prints and patterns. Prints are the perfect touch to cut through all the black I’m always wearing. One of my favorite pieces is a Zara red and gray paisley jacket I bought from Crossroads Trading Company a few years ago. It’s pilled with strings hanging off of it in places, but I get compliments every time I wear it because the colors are vibrant and the design is fantastic! I’ll take a razor to it one of these days.

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Gucci’s spring/summer 2016 advertisement shot by one of my favorite street style photographers, Tommy Ton, is a great example of how to wear prints this season. Highly saturated colors with bold patterns mixed together, worn as a set, or color blocked against vibrant solid color pieces. I’ve never been a fan of Gucci, but this collection may have changed my mind. View the full shoot here.

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8 Hours in Retail: Chicago’s Most Hated Customer

Recently, I got a new job at a trendy jewelry store. It’s a nice mix of my last job, but busier and a little more satisfying personally and financially. I like it. Anyway, I was talking to one of my co-workers last week and she asks me if I’d run into “E.” yet. (I don’t want to get sued. So we shall call her “E.”.) I replied, “I haven’t. But, I know exactly who your talking about. Is she black with a British accent?” My co-worker nodded and was like, “I don’t think that accent is real. She’s a pathological liar.” I nod my head in agreement and chime in, “Yeah. She has a reputation.” And, she really does.

I’ve only had one run in with E. when I worked at that resale shop. I remember her coming coming in to sell clothes and one of my managers that she liked did her buy. I knew from previous employee gossip about this character and the special treatment she got for being a very unpleasant individual (Insert 5 letter explicit word here.). Anyway, I got the very unfortunate task of ringing this lady out. Now I can’t remember exactly what she asked for that I denied. But, I remember clearly how she narrowed her eyes at me and raised her voice in the faux British accent to try to intimidate me into doing her bidding. In a dry voice I was like, “I need to ask my manager.” Every associates response to questions beyond “Cash or Credit?”. Said manager glanced over and just told me to do it. They did not want the hassle and low key neither did I. E. left the store very happy and jumped into her cab she had waiting outside for probably an hour at least and went about her merry way to terrorize the next retail associate.

It wasn’t just the resale shop that had issues with this customer. I had a few friends that worked at HM and during a photo shoot for a magazine I copy edit for they brought E. up. I remember laughing in disbelief, because how likely is it that one of your evil regulars is known at another store and brought up in conversation? Very likely after last week. There story was the same as my co-workers. E. would come into the store and make ridiculous demands, get very angry when they weren’t met leading to the managers to bend over backwards to accommodate her, and then claim that everyone loved her and were her friends once her needs were met. She’s one of those people that constantly tells associates that they had the store managers permission to do X,Y, and Z, but that’s never the case. My co-worker even went on to tell me she goes into another one of our locations just to use the mirror and walks out. It happens enough that she doesn’t even greet her anymore. Why she doesn’t just go into the Sephora next door, I will never know.

The moral to the story is to never be E. Do not go around harassing the staff at the stores you frequent to get your way. You’ll only end up with a horrible reputation around a city as large as Chicago and a blog post written about your naughty behavior.

 

 

 

3 Ways To Find Your Personal Style

Everyone has been here at one point. I look back on old photos of myself when I was in college and I’m amazed at how much my style has changed. I was definitely still finding myself visually and experimenting  with this and that. Constantly reading magazines and checking out my favorite style bloggers to see how they wore whatever was popular. At times letting my more stylish friends dress me to their liking, until one day I could do it myself. I could shop by myself, I knew what my aesthetic was, I knew what sizes to buy and what would look good on my slim, but shapely body. It was a process that took time and didn’t happen overnight. That’s why I’ve composed three questions you need to ask yourself to help you find and cultivate your personal style. Take the time to dig deep and figure out what you like, and I promise you it will make shopping and dressing yourself so much easier.

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  1. Who inspires you visually?

    Who do you see and think, “Wow. I love her outfit. I wish it was in my closet.” This person can be a celebrity or even one of your friends or co-workers. Something about the way they wear their clothes is attractive to you. Use that to help develop your own style. The lovely thing about humans is that we’re all individuals. So two people can wear the same dress, but style it in different ways. I’m not saying to look like a clone of that person, but take key elements of their style and make it your own.

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2. What fashion magazines or websites do you frequent?

The fashion media you consume says a lot about what you like style wise. For example, Elle magazine and Vogue magazine are both high fashion periodicals with different target markets. Vogue strives to create the fantasy of the more fashionably opulent consumer, while Elle gears it’s content towards working woman in 6-7 figure careers. In Vogue you will see a lot of crazy, unique couture or ready to wear pieces, but in Elle you see a lot of high end ready to wear for the office, a working lunch, or everyday wear. Look at your media. Do you prefer conservative periodicals like Town and Country magazine or edgy blogs like Where Did U Get That? This will help inform your thinking when you’re out shopping. Ask yourself, “Does this top say this or does it say that?”

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3. When you picture your ideal best dressed self, what are you wearing?

When I was a college freshman I had an idea of how I wanted to dress, but was too afraid to implement it. Thank God I was placed in a circle of friends who weren’t having it and their tough love broke me out of my shell. From working retail I interact with a number of women of all sizes, ethnicities, and backgrounds and a lot do not trust themselves to make basic personal style decisions. They can’t decide on a necklace without their husband or a dress without their best friend. Asking for an opinion is cool, but everyone has different taste. I’ve seen woman get talked out of things they love by their friends and family, because they weren’t secure in what they liked. At the end of the day in your gut you know what you want. Trust your instincts and go for it. If it doesn’t look good, you now know what not to do for next time. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

I hope these three questions help point you in the right direction. The best advice I can give you is to just go for it. Step out of your style shell. If you want to dress like Rihanna circa the Loud album? Do it. If you want to look like Dorothy Dandridge circa 1955? Do it. The only thing you’ll regret is never trying.

*Photo above is from Vogue.com taken by Phil Oh.
*Zendaya’s photo is by Tim Regas.

Back In Detroit

Went to Detroit again for a quick visit. I was short on time, so I took a few photos outside my parents house. You can see the vacant lot across the street in a few shots. The original owner of the house died and it was rented out to some sketchy individuals. My family thinks it was burned down by the owner for the insurance money. I wouldn’t be surprised.

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